2A-Create Your Audience Focused Presentation Outline

Data Dumping One of the biggest complaints that speakers often receive is what we call “Data Dumping.” This is where we give too much information in a confusing and scattered way. In reality, the human brain likes to focus on just a single item at a time. So, if we cover too much information in a single sitting (the time that an audience member sits down to the time that they go on break,) the audience will likely be confused and forgetful. It is better to cover a few bullets well than to cover a bunch of bullets in a cursory way.

Below are the Three Steps to Create a Powerful Presentation Outline

1. Create an Audience Focused Title

The quality of the speech always begins with the title. If you can create a title that, when the audience reads it, they already want to hear the rest of your presentation, you have started well! If your title is confusing, there is a good chance that your presentation will also be pretty confusing. Spend time coming up with an informative title that is focused on the benefit to the audience and also gives your audience an overview of the entire presentation.

2. A Good Rule: Cover No More than 5 Main Points Per Sitting

So, if you can only cover a few items, what items should you include in your presentation? The key to being a fantastic presenter is to cover only the content that is most important to your audience at this time. (If you get to speak to the audience again, in the future, you can cover additional items.) Remember, the presentation isn’t about you. It is about what your audience needs and wants. Focus on the audience, and designing your presentation gets much, much easier.

3. Focus on What Your Audience Wants

When you are deciding on what to cover in your presentation and what to cut, look at the presentation from the audience’s perspective. What are the most vital, most important concepts that they audience needs to know about your topic? Whatever those things are include them in the presentation. Anything needs to be cut.

Step #1: Create an Audience Focused Title

  1. If you have a presentation coming up sometime soon, then use that topic/title as your starting point. If you don’t have a presentation coming up, then pick a topic that you would likely speak on. Write the topic down in the “Original Speech Title” space below.
  2. Most presenters will start with a fairly “Generic” topic/title. Remember that the title is supposed to help the audience better understand the content of the presentation. So, first, make sure that your title is a complete sentence that summarizes your entire presentation. Re-Write your Title in the “Rewrite Your Title, But Make the Title Into a Complete Sentence” space below.
  3. Now that you have a good starting point, let’s make this topic more “Audience Focused.” Ask yourself, “If the audience really understood this content thoroughly, what benefit would they receive?” “Why do they care about this topic?” “What value will they get by listening to the presentation?” Put the answers to these questions in the blanks below.
  4. Now, Just Combine the One-Sentence Version of the Title and the Benefit to the Audience. Here are a couple of examples.

TITLE: Quarterly Financial Report
COMPLETE SENTENCE: Sales Revenue Decreased by 14% Last Quarter
BENEFIT TO AUDIENCE: If we fix the problems, we can increase revenue this quarter.
ADD BENEFIT TO TITLE: A Few Suggestions that Will Keep Us from Experiencing a Sales Revenue Drop in Two Consecutive Quarters

TITLE: Automation Software Presentation
COMPLETE SENTENCE: How to Use the New Automation Software.
BENEFIT TO AUDIENCE: The software will reduce human error and save you time.
ADD BENEFIT TO TITLE: New Automation Software Will Help You Save Time and Reduce Errors

Use the Form Below to Create an Awesome Title.